Act like leaders,Met Chief Tells Officers

Article excerpt

Byline: PHILIP NETTLETON

METROPOLITAN Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens today said the force is going through the toughest period in its history and urged senior officers to act like leaders.

Britain's most senior police chief also delivered a stark warning to underachieving officers: "If you're not up to the job - leave now."

He admitted morale was at rock bottom and that high and middle-ranking officers needed lead by example and inspire pride in officers.

The Met is in financial chaos exacerbated by the increased terrorist threat since September - street crime has hit a record high and the force is battling a recruitment and retention crisis.

Sir John said: "At times like these, there is only one way to get things done, we must act together and ensure that we are all rowing in the same direction. I can tell within minutes what morale is like at a police station and that all revolves around leadership. I see enthusiasm and pride, but I still see massive pockets of demoralisation and that comes from leadership too.

"Ask yourselves, do you support your staff enough? Do you praise them enough? Surveys over the past year and a half indicated that three-quarters of the officers who left the Metropolitan police early didn't go because of the money and conditions, nor because of their job, however hard.

"They went because they did not feel welcome and didn't feel that they had been treated right or led in the right way.

"It's not a pretty tale but maybe we are not putting enough emphasis on how we generate confidence."

Sir John delivered the blunt message to chief inspectors, inspectors and executive officers at a Scotland Yard, Mission, Vision and Values briefing. …